When design meets both form and function, it feels like money well spent. I mentioned in the previous post that we had a major heating issue in the house last winter. Upstairs was extremely hot at night. (It absorbed all the sun from the day and the rise of the heat from below). But the downstairs was an ice chest throughout the day. We have one system for the house, so when we'd heat the downstairs, it'd make upstairs perfect for hot yoga. We now use the fireplace as a heater to the first floor, and it's working beautifully. We've barely had to run our heater this fall. So here's our cozy modern living room. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad we waited a year plus to add the fireplace. It took us that long to get to know the room and the house.
Anchor floating furniture. If your sofa sits in the middle of your living room, anchor it with a sofa table so it doesn't look like a floating island. This will make the area seem more structured and substantial instead of looking as though something is missing. You can put a lamp or two on the table to create a reading spot where side tables won't fit. Plus, a sofa table draws your eye away from unsightly upholstery seams or lesser grades of leather on the back of your sofa. Ideally, the table should be a bit lower than the sofa back. Tables substantially higher tend to look a bit off and can knock the back of heads. Embrace nature's softer side. Slick and polished surfaces can feel hard, and their reflections have a tendency to cause eye fatigue — not exactly the hospitable feeling you want in your living room. Texture will add visual warmth and a richer, more tactile experience.
Windows with less. With a dominant wall feature like this one, a window treatment would be superfluous. Leaving the windows bare allows the fabulous decorated wall to do the talking. Elimination exercise. When designing a room, what we put in tends to take precedence over what we leave out. Placing a coffee table between or in front of sofas is a firmly entrenched habit. But ask yourself whether it is actually essential to your living room. Would a pair of side tables work better instead? Here, the negative space created by the absence of a central table not only gives clear air to the sculptural lines of this hanging fireplace, but it also opens a traffic path to the floor-to-ceiling windows.
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